When I think about Valentine’s Day, it’s not a holiday that I usually associate with romance. Although the hubs and I like to celebrate the holiday with a hot date or a little gift, our date-iversary is just before it on February 10, so the pressure to make special plans for Valentine’s Day is rather secondary to us.
For me, Valentine’s Day has become a reminder of all the great friendships I’m blessed with. Until I met Matt, I had never celebrated the holiday with any of the other guys I dated. For nearly every Valentine’s Day through high school and college, I found myself sitting across a candle-lit table from one of my best girlfriends instead.
In fact, on two separate occasions with two different guys, I dumped them a few days before the 14th because I realized they cared more for me than I for them. They wanted more out of me on Valentine’s Day than I was willing to invest, so dinner with my best friends seemed like the smarter plan. Maybe that was a bitchy move, and I feel bad for any broken hearts and wounded egos that resulted.
But when I made the choice not to invest in those guys, I was also choosing to invest in my friends first. And I don’t regret it one bit.
When I finally went on a romantic Valentine’s date, it was with a guy that I trusted as deeply and whose company I enjoyed as much as my closest friends. My friendships taught me to seek something deeper than romance, to look for all the elements of real, lasting love – trust, loyalty, gratitude, humor.
So today I celebrate friendship, because it’s an eternal kind of love, one that deserves a holiday filled with chocolates and love notes and fancy dinners.
For the friends that supported me and sat with me at a candle-lit table when there was no romance, and for the friend that decided to romance me for the rest of my life :
I love you. Thanks for being my valentine.